Ange Postecoglou expressed his dissatisfaction with VAR, suggesting that it has made football less enjoyable, following Mauricio Pochettino’s emotional return to Tottenham, where he led Chelsea to a chaotic 4-1 victory over his former team.
The match at the stadium was overshadowed by officiating controversies as Tottenham, missing an opportunity to return to the top of the league, concluded the game with only nine players. Cristian Romero received a red card after an extensive VAR check, leading Postecoglou to lament the slowing effect of technology on the game.
“I don’t like it,” said the Spurs manager. “It is the way the game is going. Some of it is self-inflicted because if we come out every week complaining about decisions, that is what will happen. Every decision gets forensically checked, and we will be sitting around for a long time in every game trying to figure out what is going on. I don’t like it, but I am probably in the wilderness with that because I keep getting told that’s where we want to go. I am too old school; I’ll respect the referee’s decision, right or wrong. But it is the way the game is going.”
He added that it’s challenging for referees to officiate under these circumstances, and their authority is constantly being diminished. Postecoglou grew up with a different perspective, where referees were held in high regard, akin to policemen, and he appreciates the purity of the game.
Postecoglou also predicted that referees might end up wearing microphones to explain their decisions during matches. Later in the game, Destiny Udogie was also sent off for two bookings.
Spurs had initially taken the lead through Dejan Kulusevski’s goal, but Chelsea equalized with Cole Palmer’s penalty. Jackson’s late hat-trick propelled Chelsea to 10th place in the league.
Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged that the various VAR checks took too long but expressed satisfaction with Chelsea’s performance. He hadn’t faced Spurs since being dismissed by the club four years ago and described his return as emotional, emphasizing the passion of the game and the importance of securing three points for Chelsea.